10 August 2010

Woodbourne Emergency

See link for a photo...

Engine trouble forced an aircraft to turn back to Blenheim Airport shortly after takeoff this morning, an Air New Zealand spokeswoman says. The Beech 1900 aircraft, ZK-EAA, with 19 passengers on board, took off from Blenheim Airport bound for Wellington about 7.10am, but turned back and landed again under a local standby about 7.20am. Woodbourne Fire Brigade Fire Master Chris Gee said emergency services were told and an engine from RNZAF Base Woodbourne fire brigade was on the tarmac when the plane touched down. A passenger told The Marlborough Express one of the engines cut out and the aircraft struggled to climb. "We were quite low – you could tell something wasn't quite right," the woman said. The plane turned back to Blenheim Airport when it reached the Wairau Bar. However, the crew did a good job keeping passengers calm, she said. "They were fantastic. No-one was worried... everyone was pretty jovial." Air New Zealand communications manager Marie Hosking said the pilot noticed inconsistencies in the engine power settings after takeoff. The engine was shut down as a precaution, Ms Hosking said. The aircraft was being inspected by engineers and passengers had been rebooked on other flights, she said. It is the second emergency at Blenheim Airport this year. In June a Beech 1900 aircraft landed under a full emergency after a pilot felt vibrations as the nose wheel retracted after takeoff in Gisborne.

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